What is our working method?
As one of the first, in 2006 we set off on the path to sustainable energy. We have now built more than 3.6 GWp of projects worldwide. We continue to innovate. Because it is the only way to a sustainable future. Location development, design and engineering, technical planning, financing and execution; we bring it together in one total package thanks to our very experienced team. We manufacture solar panels ourselves; so they are always up to date. Developing a solar park is a complex challenge in which many areas of expertise come together. Read below how we do it.
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It all starts with a suitable location. We look for it ourselves, but we also cooperate with brokers and representatives. We search for locations where landscaping of the solar park is possible. If the province and municipality have policy on solar parks, this is of course always a good starting point. The landowner plays a crucial role. For him or her, the solar park must fit in with the company’s strategy or personal circumstances.
A solar park is always temporary, but at least for a period of 25 years. Temporary use with as many dual functions as possible in grazing and ecological management is an important key factor for us to develop a sustainable solar park. This way, the landscape continues to adapt to the changes in society. Our location choices are therefore a combination of a landowner who is open for development of solar, fitting into the landscape and proximity to electrical infrastructure. Do you want to know more about the requirements for a location? Read more about the information for landowners.
Once the location is identified, the design and engineering work start. From initial sketches, landscape architects and technical engineers work towards a design that forms the basis for the permit. Our standard working method is based on an environmental permit with which we can realize a building with a temporary deviation from the zoning plan. This means that a detailed drawing for the permit must be provided. Including a landscape plan and a landscape management plan.
This way the environment and the municipality know what the solar park will look like in the next 25 years. This is often the first moment that local residents hear about the plan. They are invited to think along in the design of the park, the landscaping and of course the combination with other wishes, such as recreation paths or nature. The technical design is also important; from the arrangement of the panels to the route to the electricity cables and the possible installation of a special battery that ensures the temporary storage of the generated energy.
The result of our diligent efforts to scout suitable land and to engineer the project designs in close exchange and alignment with all local stakeholders, is the award of a long term permit (25yr +) to construct and operate a solar installation.
The final milestone prior to the start of construction works is then to obtain the SDE+ subsidy which is the basis for the commercial viability of renewable projects in the Netherlands. It has been set up to achieve the renewable energy related goals of the country. Once a year there is an auction awarding renewable projects that have been successfully developed. It is carried out by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland. The auction system is designed in a way that the renewable energy-generating projects with the lowest possible price will be awarded with a SDE+ subsidy. For solar projects it is therefore important to be competitive. Producing state-of-the art solar panels in-house of course allows us to implement projects at lower subsidy levels than many others.
When all the above summarized development milestones are successfully finalized, then the construction starts. The construction of a mid-size solar park takes about three to four months. Preferably we are building in the period April-October. In exceptional cases we can also build in the winter. The construction works are carried out by a variety of contractors and sub-contractors coordinated by our solar experts. Hereby we contract as many services and products as possible in the immediate vicinity of the project. Earthmoving, fencing, security, electrical works, landscaping etc. are usually performed by local parties that can deliver high quality. For specialist services we work together with international players who have deep experience with construction of solar parks.
The last six to eight weeks of the construction phase are the most intensive. The sub-structure is mounted and the modules are placed. This results in a temporary increase in freight traffic. We take this into account by informing the neighborhood in advance. And together with the municipality and contractors, we define up a traffic plan, so that the inconvenience remains limited as much as possible. The last step of the construction is the grid connection. This is provided by the local grid operator.